Death, be not proud


Source : Google photo

Synopsis : Death is inevitable ,only the manner and time is perhaps different for individuals so the blog discusses the importance of living and not dying because ultimately how you have lived is more important than the dying.

I know it is not a popular topic but it is a topic that is always at the back of our mind whether we like it or not. Death is like a final scene in the long played out drama of life but in one instant, it ends the drama and with such finality that it shocks most people. It makes people sit up and take notice of the life of someone who was here yesterday but today he is gone forever.

We all know someone who was dear to us who has left us sometime at the prime of his or her life or at other times at a rich old age leaving behind perhaps a great legacy or the story of incredible valor and courage that people still talk about and even erect a statue in his honor.

Some people leave behind such an impact that sears into the general consciousness of people in a way that cannot be easily forgotten. Who can forget Che Guevara or Nelson Mandela? Who can forget Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King?

Some say that we all possess the seed of nobility, the seed of greatness in us but very few see that seed grow into a tree that the humanity takes notice of. Most of us will die someday, mourned by a few and soon forgotten , never to reach greatness that stayed latent and sleeping ,never to wake up to show the full potential of a person. Their stories are never told and they leave no legacy behind. This is the story of the vast majority of the humanity.

But I can imagine what incredible stories they took with them to their graves or funeral pyre that no one heard anymore. Normally this was the duty of the bards who kept the stories alive through their story telling magic in societies where the oral tradition was practiced.

The ancients found a way to record their stories in cave paintings or in hieroglyphs in dark underground tomb walls that were hermetically sealed to preserve them. Others chose stone monuments like in Angkor Wat where kilometer long galleries preserved the stories in bas-relief for ever.

But what about the common people? Perhaps they too had something to tell about their achievements, their successes and their contribution to the society where they lived. Who has recorded how many thousands of sick people whom the shaman or the herbal doctor cured in his lifetime and had only his poverty to show for in return? Who remembers the simple old man who stood up to assert his human rights and received a bullet as a reward? Who will remember Tien An Men where thousands died because they only wanted freedom?

We all tend to forget the contribution of common people who fought for the rights of all of us but died unknown, un rewarded and un sung just because they never made the headlines and never wrote books about them. Did anyone remember the common soldiers who died in large numbers in the battle of Kohima so that one day we all could be free? Did anyone care what happened to the abandoned soldiers of the Indian National Army of Bose after the army was disbanded?

That is the fate of ordinary people whom we all forget and remember only those who made headlines. The death wipes their slate clean as if they never existed.

I come from a culture where death is considered just a passing phase in the cycle of life and death, where people believe that we die and pass on to the next life , where the human body is considered like nothing more than old worn out clothes that one must discard and get new ones in their next life.

I have seen how soon after the passing of a person from this world, people calmly sip their tea and discuss the weather as if it really does not matter. The photo of the departed stays on the wall for a while but is eventually discarded because the second or the third generation cannot relate to that person whom they never knew and never met.

In other cultures they visit the gravesites of the departed ones not often to remember them but as a part of a ritual on All Souls Day where drinking and eating becomes the priority.

There is a story in the Hindu mythology that is interesting so I will mention it here.

There was a woman called Savitri  who married  Satyavan and  were very happy together but one day Satyavan died leaving the grieving Savitri  who so loved her husband.  Soon the King of Death called Yama showed up and took the soul of Satyavan on his shoulder and started walking but she started to follow him so Yama asked why she was following him. She said that she had nothing more to live for and will go where her husband goes.

Yama said that she could not go where the souls go after the death but she continued on and would not quit so the God of death said he will grant her three boons if she will quit and go back so she agreed.

She asked for happiness as the first boon so it was granted. She then asked for prosperity as the second boon which was also granted. She then asked for many children as the last boon which the God of Death also granted because he was getting tired of Savitri  following him but she started following him again.

The God then asked why she was still following him to which she answered that her last boon could not be fulfilled without her husband. He knew that Savitri had outsmarted him so gave back the life of her husband.

But this is just a mythical story. In reality no one I know has ever outsmarted death although there are stories about Lamas in the Himalayas who live for hundreds of years in Shangrilas but they too eventually become dust.

Rider Haggard wrote about the eternal fire that burns deep in a cave in Africa that could give a person eternal life but that too is just a story to amuse you. Mankind has been obsessed with death since time unknown and I have written a blog about it called The obsession with death   that is perhaps worth a look.

Today my blog is about common people who leave no trace of their life behind. Millions toil under the harsh sun to grow the food we eat. Millions more toil in the inhumane sweat factories getting pitiful wages to make beautiful clothes for us so that we are not naked. Millions work very hard to build beautiful homes for us but they themselves live in cardboard and plastic shanties dying very poor and of sickness because they cannot pay for the medicines.

These are the common people who sacrifice their lives so that we can live and enjoy life. It is the same story of common soldiers who die in foreign wars that their governments wage under false pretense and get a cheap coffin as a reward.

Those who survive suffer from their injuries and neglect of their government like those poor soldiers in Walter Reed hospital. Their stories of personal sacrifice is never written so no one will ever know what they did.

Have you ever stopped to think of all the sacrifices your mother and father made to raise you, give you education and care when you were sick? Have you ever wondered how they managed to raise so many children with their meager means? Have you ever thanked your Ma who fanned you all night and kept a wet cloth on your forehead to bring down your fever?

We take their sacrifices for granted and one day their photos disappear from the house in the same way their memories become faded.

Once I said to a great lady who was dying of cancer and had a short time to live that what matters most is how a person has lived and not how long. Terry Fox died when he was only 23 but he left behind a legacy that his country of Canada has not forgotten.

We all carry a bit of Terry Fox in us in our own way and die someday as unsung heroes so I say … Death, be not proud. You can snuff out a life but you cannot snuff out the sacrifices people make so that others can live.


Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски



Excessive shyness

Synopsis: Excessive shyness is a human frailty that inhibits the development of the personality so the blog discusses how to beat timidity and shed the shyness in order to achieve the full potential of a person.

Excessive shyness


Source : google photo

I often think that excessive shyness in some people is due to some inferiority complex that many suffer from and become very shy to open up in public. It affects both sexes to a great extent and results in the development of an introvert person who otherwise could have been a great speaker, writer or a person of great personality.

This shyness is not apparent at first during the childhood because the child is innocent and does not have any complex, inferior or superior at first but that can change due to the environment in which the child grows up. There are families that encourage the child to speak up but in others the child is reprimanded if he speaks up and out of turn so it all depends on how the parents encourage or discourage a child to speak up.

If you visit a rural community in most countries, you will encounter children and adults who are not afraid to speak up and use the saltiest language to do so. Your ears will turn red if you hear how the farmers use vulgar language daily that has a direct effect on children who tend to mimic their parents or grandparents.

In some communities, cursing and using foul language is discouraged citing Biblical references all the time so those who need to vent their anger or frustrations using foul language can only say oh my gosh or holy cow etc. because thou shalt not take thy Lord’s name in vain  injunctions are mentioned at every turn.

Rural children who by nature are not shy openly talk of rutting because they see the barn animals copulating so they accept it as something natural. Teen age girls are often seen to help animals copulate and will talk a mile a minute if you get them to open up on such topics. They grow up precocious and tend to be very practical just about everything just like their parents or grandparents.

In some communities like that of the Amish people, children grow up with a strong sense of belonging to the community where they are expected to help in doing routine farm chores for their families and also for others when needed. You will find such children with robust health because they work hard in their farms and eat simple but healthy food. The hard work builds their muscles and the company they keep builds their salty language as well. So rural folks in most countries are considered poorly educated and with coarse manners with salty language that sets those apart from the city folks who tend to have more education and restrained manners and language in the middle class..

This background is necessary to understand how some people become outspoken and others remain shy all their lives.

This shyness is not inherent in a child at first but he learns to be shy because he is not encouraged to speak out whenever he wants. The social etiquettes that the upper class practices and takes enormous pride in can restrict a child because the parents will not allow him to freely express himself. It does not have to be only the speech but it can also have restrictions on how he behaves. However, learning restraint is not a bad thing if it helps a person become disciplined and well-mannered.

As kids we were not allowed to take anything from unknown or even known people unless the parents gave a nod. We listened when parents spoke at dinner time or any other time never interrupting them and were not allowed to call any elder person by his or her name due to the respect their age demanded. This is more Confucian than anything else and is widely practiced in many countries.

But in the Western culture a child can call his parents by their first name or call his grandfather John. He can answer back often very impolitely to his parents or elders because there are no social restraints to do so. The American missionaries made fun of our children in Haiti because they called old people uncle or grandpa in the Haitian tradition. In their culture such respect to old people is seldom given so people act accordingly.

While the cultures vary from country to country and even among diverse ethnic groups within the country, good social behavior is a learned experience that is strongly rooted in the values people hold dear. This is learned first at home where parents play a very important role in teaching the kids good values and good behavior thus laying the foundation of the personality the child will develop later.

Now people will argue about what constitute good values and good behavior and will ridicule values and behavior that is submissive, respectful and courteous that is found in other countries just because they do not practice them and value their own culture above others. But the same people praised our children for their good behavior, courteous and respectful attitude and compared their own children who were just the opposite.

When a child is encouraged to speak but only with deference and not out of turn then he learns to pick up good social values and etiquettes that then become a part of his personality later. It sets him apart from the rural child who is vulgar and uncouth in his language and social behavior.

When the child is ready to go to school, his teachers now assume the role of parents and teach him what  it means to be honest, truthful and well-disciplined sometimes through punishment and at other times with encouragement so that the child learns to be not shy in expressing his views.

So a person can shed his shyness if given proper encouragement at home or in school. If parents encourage the child to participate in speaking contest and prepare him on the subject then it can have a tremendous positive effect on the child. If he can face a crowd and speak on a subject extemporaneously with a fluency in his language, he succeeds in overcoming his shyness and never looks back.  This is a very necessary skill in a child to develop a positive personality.

It helps him increase his self-confidence and his debating skills that can come in handy later in life when he takes a leadership role in college or in his office. The parents and the teachers all can play a very important role in developing the personality of the child by encouraging the child to participate in debates, speaking contest, science contest and many other events the schools organize from time to time. It does not hurt to say “ I am proud of you “ once in a while to the child and give him or her a token of your appreciation.

A  child who grows up alone and unappreciated because of the poor environment he lives in can become a loner, shy and an introvert  who does not open up and say what he feels . He grows up afraid and shy. It can also have a very negative effect on the child in the sense that he can become a person with built up anger and repressed feelings that can lead him on to become a social deviant.

Many deviants then take out their repressed anger on others and lash out indiscriminately like in the case of the Korean kid in Virginia Tech who killed scores of people. He was a loner and felt the anger so took it out on others in this tragic manner.

I wrote a blog called The child is a sapling that is perhaps worth a look regarding this subject.

Now I come to the part on how to shed the shyness and become a happy person with an all-round personality as an adult. This has to do with the environment where the child grows up.

His parents, his teachers, his classmates, his neighbors, his friends and playmates all play a role in the development of a child. The parents probably play the most crucial role but the father and the mother both must agree on what to teach the kid, how to teach and when to stop a destructive behavior in a child. If they do not agree with each other on how to raise their child then the child is confused and does not know to whom he must listen.

The unity in any family comes from shared beliefs which have a direct effect on the child. The kids who come from broken families suffer the most that has its own social consequences.

The families that are poor and are struggling to meet their daily needs tend to have loose social and moral values because their priority is survival first. But the poverty as such is not the necessary evil one must face. I have lived in Africa where the rural people are dirt poor depending on risky rain fed farming but raise good and decent kids just the same. In their rural communities they look after each other just like the Amish people in the United States but in cities, there are no such communities that help each other.

So to develop a strong and good personality, a child needs his community support as much as his home support. If he gets to play with other children in his community then he does not become a loner and can shed his shyness.

I think a child needs to develop self-confidence first in order to shed his shyness. So how does a child develop self-confidence? It can come from the encouragement of his parents who give him certain responsibilities that he is then expected to fulfill. You will see this in rural communities where a child may be asked to get up at 4 am to feed the cows or milk them or collect the maple sap or do numerous other chores that can help develop his self-confidence.

In cities where most people live now a days, a child can be given certain household chores that he is expected to learn to do. I know that I learned to be responsible because I was asked to buy most of the household needs every month and accounted for every penny spent. This also developed my self-confidence because my parents trusted me with money and I never let them down. I learned to trust my judgment which my parents never questioned.

All these things help make a child self-confident and in the process he sheds his shyness because he learns to deal with people all the time. A sheltered child never gets to learn to develop his own personality and can remain shy and an introvert.

One thing that can help a child shed his shyness is when he learns a foreign language and learns to speak it well. A multi lingual child sets himself apart from others from the very start and becomes a smart person because of this ability. This ability can come from teachers or private lessons and books that can help make a person a reader in that language. The development of reading habit early on is a sure way of getting a lot of knowledge from different sources and makes a person knowledgeable and smart.

A smart and knowledgeable person brimming in self-confidence develops a strong and good personality who is never shy.

So if you have a child who is shy and reticent, then you can help him (when I say he, I mean he or she) by encouraging to read, by giving him responsibilities , encourage him to participate in speaking contests, science project contests or debate but mostly by supporting him  in doing what he likes most to do.  Such a child will never be shy and will develop the foundation to become a person of substance someday.


Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски


Intrepid travellers

Synopsis : The intrepid travelers inspire us with their tales of travel to the unknown world and fascinate us with the description of people and the landscape of exotic lands.The blog looks at some of the most famous travelers, discoverers and explorers of their time who enriched our world with their knowledge.



Source : Google photo of intrepid travellers

Intrepid travellers :

When I was in Mali , West Africa , one day a Swiss gentleman came to my office in Sikasso because he had heard that we were very hospitable and welcomed visitors known or unknown to us to our home. He said that he pedaled his 18 speed bicycle from Dakar in Senegal to Bamako in Mali and now he was in Sikasso from where he planned to go to Niamey in Niger passing through the Upper Volta and reach Agadez . He said that he will cross the Sahara desert passing through Tamanrasset in Southern Algeria and push on to Algiers from where he will follow the coastal road to Morocco, cross the strait to Gibraltar and cross into Spain. Eventually he will reach Switzerland this way.

I was very impressed as he told stories of his travel through many countries sitting in our veranda and found him a sterling person of great courage and stamina. He said that he often pedaled 100 kms in one day if the road was good and slept in a roadside village for safety. Malians are very hospitable people so they received him well in their villages because such courage and tenacity impresses everyone.

He had everything he needed that included spare tire, parts for his bicycle, tire repair kit, food, a small tent and medicines, water and numerous other useful items . We were literally in awe of this fellow who said that he had pedaled his bicycle all the way from Canada to South America and now he wanted to cross Sahara this way so it was quite amazing. He left us after a day or two of rest but sent us a card from Algiers saying that he had no trouble crossing Sahara during the night and took the asphalted road from Tamanrasset to Algiers and was well on his way back to Switzerland. We were sorry to let him go. We never heard from him again.

There was another gentleman this time in Haiti who was also pedaling his bicycle through the country and wanted the see all the Caribbean islands . He was from Germany and told me how the Haitians pelted him with stones in some parts and tried to rob him. Haiti was in a period of revolution so there were a lot of people into banditry and mischief there because the law and order had broken down. It was a dangerous country at that time to pedal bike in so we wished him well and cautioned him to take care of himself. It was sad to learn that such courageous and well-meaning people have to take such risks during their hard travel.

Believe me. Bicycle riding is not fun if you have to ride for hundreds of miles. You have to have extreme training to do so which takes a long time to develop such muscles and endurance that only a few people can dare . Once my brother invited me to a picnic some 30 kms away so I was given a new bicycle to cover the 60 km distance. I had no training to go such distance in a single day so my leg muscles became very sore and I could hardly walk for several days. I have never ridden a bike since then and do not want to but some people cross continents on a bike like the Swiss and the German fellow that is truly amazing.

In India sometime a group of cyclists travel the whole country from the North to South and East to West this way and take their sweet time to do so. There is safety in numbers so if one fellow has trouble with his bike or something else, they all stop and help. It is a wonderful way to see the country because it is a true adventure full of excitement as well as some risks but a group makes sense rather than going alone like that Swiss fellow.

When we were in Siem Reap in Cambodia, we ate at an Indian restaurant most of the time so we started chatting with the owner who was an Indian from North India. He told us that he came to Siem Reap on his bicycle from India crossing the hills of Myanmar, through Thailand and reaching Cambodia. I do not know if he came alone or with a group but he showed tremendous courage to do so and set himself up in Siem Reap where he earns a good living. He was also a very good cook.

I call them intrepid travellers because they have so much courage and tenacity.

If you study the history of the world , you will come to know many great travellers who spent a very long period of their life travelling and often risking their lives to do so. I will mention a few famous travellers and explorers. There was a time when people had to travel on foot or on a horse or camel and passing through unknown and often dangerous territories suffering immense discomfort, hunger and thirst and mortal dangers from bandits. They never knew when they will find shelter and food and where.

Yet they were so determined that they pushed on day after day, month after month and year after year to see, to discover and to write about their great travels.

Ibn Battutta

Source : google photo of Mohammad Ibn Battuta

1.First on my list is Mohammad Ibn Battuta who was a Moroccan who traveled through the  known Islamic world and many other parts of the world for thirty years.

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta, was a Moroccan Muslim scholar and traveler. He is known for his travelling and going on excursions called the Rihla. His journeys lasted for a period of almost thirty years. This covered nearly the whole of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the East, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors.After his travel he returned to Morocco and gave his account of the experience to a ghost writer.

In the year 1326, when Ibn Battuta was 21 years old, he undertook his first voyage and it was a long journey to the holy city of Mecca. It was a pilgrimage but during the stay in Mecca, he also traveled to nearby Damascus in order to learn from scholars and earn diplomas.

The journey to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina set him on his path of being the exemplary traveler that he turned out to be. At the end of his pilgrimage, Ibn Battuta was honoured with the title of ‘El-Hajji’.

At a time when mostly merchants traveled the world, Ibn Battuta was one who made a living out of travelling to different countries. He earned an income through handsome gifts from rulers as well as from his status as a man of letters. He travelled to Taizz in present day Yemen and Aden after staying in Mecca till 1330.

In the year 1331, Ibn Battuta travelled to Mogadishu in Somalia which was an extremely prosperous city at the time under Abu Bakr ibn Sayx ‘Umar and following that visit he went to Mombasa and Kilwa, which was being ruled by the ‘Kilwa Sultanate’ at the time. Battuta noted that the town planning in Kilwa was quite advanced.

Ibn Battuta wanted to be employed by the India’s Mohammad bin Tughlaq of the ‘Delhi Sultanate’ and in order to reach India he first went to Anatolia in 1332, which was then fragmented into pockets of smaller power centres in the years prior to the rise of the Ottoman Turks.

In 1334, he travelled to the iconic city of Constantinople and got an audience with the ruling king, Andronikos III Palaiologos, as a part of Sultan Oz Beg Khan’s entourage which was sent to the city in order to witness the birth of his grandson. The Sultan’s daughter was married to the Roman emperor.

Following his journey to Constantinople in 1334, Battuta started his long awaited journey to India and like so many travellers of the time he used the route via the ‘Hindu Kush Mountains’. In September of that year; Battuta finally reached Delhi and presented himself to the king of the Delhi Sultanate, Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

In India, Mohammad bin Tughlaq, a man of letters, appointed Battuta as a judge and expert on Islamic Law; however, Battuta was disillusioned with the situation in India since it was hard to impose the law in a country in which majority of the subjects were non-Muslims. He worked for six years in India.

During his stay in India. Battuta fell out of favour with Mohammad bin Tughlaq and it was only when he was appointed as the ambassador to the Sultanate in China was he able to get away from the emperor.

His last journeys were to Spain and Sudan, the two Islamic countries at the time that he had not visited. Battuta’s accounts of his time in Sudan, which he reached in 1352 remains one of the best sources of information on Africa from that time.

Battuta went back to his native Morocco in the year 1353 and took up employment as a judge. It is thought that he worked as a judge till his last day and also dictated his memoirs to a ghost writer.(source : Wikipedia)

Huen Sang

Source : Google photo of Hiuen Tsang

2. The second Person on my list is one of great travellers of ancient time who came to India from China crossing the Himalayas on foot and stayed at the famous university of Nalanda for some time and took detailed note of its location that was later discovered in his hand written notes in Beijing.

He is no other than Hiuen Tsang (also Xuanzang, Hsuan Tsang) who was the celebrated Chinese traveller who visited India in Ancient Times. He has been described therefore as the “Prince of Pilgrims.”

His visit to India was an important event of the reign of Harshavardhana. India is much indebted to this Chinese traveller for the valuable accounts he left behind with many during his stay there. The biography of Hiuen Tsang, written by another Chinese, is also another valuable source for Indian history.

Hiuen Tsang was born in China in 602 A.D. He became a Buddhist monk at the age of twenty. He longed for knowing more and more of Buddhism to satisfy his spiritual hunger. But without a visit to India, he knew his desire for learning would remain unfulfilled. When he was about 30, he secretly left China for an adventurous journey towards India.  He travelled through rough, rocky and rugged mountainous region to reach India.

During his stay in India, he visited various places of northern and southern India. In India, he wanted to visit all the sacred places connected with the life of Buddha, as well as to learn of Buddhism through study. During his travel he covered many more places and observed keenly the social, religious, political, cultural and economic conditions of the country.

Hiuen Tsang visited Kashmir and the Punjab. He proceeded to Kapilavastu, Bodh-Gaya, Sarnath, and Kusinagara. He also travelled through the Deccan, Orissa and Bengal. He went almost to every part of India.

He spent around five years in the University of Nalanda and studied there. He was impressed by the passion of the Indian people for learning.

According to Hiuen Tsang, at the time of his visit, Pataliputra had lost its former glory. Kanauj and Prayag became important cities.

Harsha came to admire him for his deep devotion to Buddha and his profound knowledge of Buddhism. He honored him in his Kanauj religious Assembly, and also invited him to attend the Prayaga Assembly. After attending those two magnificent functions, Hiuen Tsang prepared to leave for China after having spent long fourteen years of his life on the soil of India.

King Harsha was sorry to part with the pilgrim. But he made elaborate arrangements for his safe return under a strong military escort to the frontiers of India. Beyond the frontiers, the pilgrim was accompanied by Harsha’s official guides who carried the letters of authority from emperor to produce them in other countries. Thus, Hiuen Tsang finally reached back home.

Hiuen Tsang took with him from India 150 pieces of the bodily relics of Buddha, a large number of Buddha images in gold, silver and sandalwood and above all, 657 volumes of valuable manuscripts, carried by twenty horses of his escort party.

Back in his home in China, he set himself to translate some of those manuscripts into the Chinese language, assisted by several scholars. About 74 Buddhist works were translated during his life time which proved of immense value to the people of China. Hiuen Tsang died in 664 A.D.

Importance of Hiuen Tsang Visit to India:

Hiuen Tsang was indeed an ancient ambassador of peace between China and India. Harsha too was a man of international vision like Samrat Ashoka.

Regarding Hiuen Tsang’s praise of Harshavardhana and of the Indian people in his Travel Accounts, it may be said that the Chinese pilgrim was writing the memoirs of his Indian days in far-away China, without any compulsion or pressure from anybody to give a favorable account of the rulers and peoples of another country. He was writing what he saw, and what he honestly felt, as well as of what he had heard. As a true Buddhist, and a pious pilgrim to a holy land, he could not have been dishonest or untruth­ful in his writings. He had no reason to flatter anybody when far out of sight. He had also no reason to seek anybody’s favour for his Travel Accounts. He was, in fact, describing the condition of Buddhism in India as he saw. That was the subject of his prime concern. Other episodes came in as side descriptions.

On the whole, Hiuen Tsang’s accounts have been accepted as truthful and trust-worthy. His writings have thrown immense light on an important era of the ancient Indian history. ( Source Wikipedia)

Marco Polo

Source : Google photo of Marco Polo

3. The third person who made such an impact with his travel stories in the ancient world during the period of Kublai Khan is Marco Polo . Kublai Khan was the grandson of Ghengiz Khan.

A Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo traveled from Europe to Asia from 1271 to 1295. He wrote ‘Il Milione,’ known in English as ‘The Travels of Marco Polo.’

Who Was Marco Polo?

Marco Polo (1254 to January 8, 1324) was a Venetian explorer known for the book The Travels of Marco Polo, which describes his voyage to and experiences in Asia. Polo travelled extensively with his family, journeying from Europe to Asia from 1271 to 1295 and remaining in China for 17 of those years. Around 1292, he left China, acting as consort along the way to a Mongol princess who was being sent to Persia.

‘The Travels of Marco Polo’

Marco Polo’s stories about his travels in Asia were published as a book called The Description of the World, later known as The Travels of Marco Polo. Just a few years after returning to Venice from China, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was eventually captured and sentenced to a Genoese prison, where he met a fellow prisoner and writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia, what he’d seen, where he’d traveled and what he’d accomplished.

The book made Marco a celebrity. It was printed in French, Italian and Latin, becoming the most popular read in Europe. But few readers allowed themselves to believe Marco’s tale. They took it to be fiction, the construct of a man with a wild imagination. The work eventually earned another title: Il Milione (“The Million Lies”). Marco, however, stood behind his book, and it influenced later adventurers and merchants.

Although he was born to a wealthy Venetian merchant family, much of Marco Polo’s childhood was spent parentless, and he was raised by an extended family. Polo’s mother died when he was young, and his father and uncle, successful jewel merchants Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, were in Asia for much of Polo’s youth.

Niccolo and Maffeo’s journeys brought them into present-day China, where they joined a diplomatic mission to the court of Kublai Khan, the Mongol leader whose grandfather, Genghis Khan, had conquered Northeast Asia. In 1269, the two men returned to Venice and immediately started making plans for their return to Khan’s court. During their stay with the leader, Khan had expressed his interest in Christianity and asked the Polo brothers to visit again with 100 priests and a collection of holy water.

Khan’s Empire, the largest the world had ever seen, was largely a mystery to those living within the borders of the Holy Roman Empire. A sophisticated culture outside the reaches of the Vatican seemed unfathomable, and yet that’s exactly what the Polo brothers described to confounded Venetians when they arrived home.

Marco Polo’s Voyage to China

In 1271, Marco Polo set out with his father and uncle, Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, for Asia, where they would remain until 1295. Unable to recruit the 100 priests that Kublai Khan had requested, they left with only two, who, after getting a taste of the hard journey ahead of them, soon turned back for home. The Polos’ journey took place on land, and they were forced to cut through challenging and sometimes harsh territory. But through it all, Marco reveled in the adventure. His later memory for the places and cultures he witnessed was remarkable and exceptionally accurate.

As they made their way through the Middle East, Marco absorbed its sights and smells. His account of the Orient, especially, provided the western world with its first clear picture of the East’s geography and ethnic customs. Hardships, of course, came his way. In what is now Afghanistan, Marco was forced to retreat to the mountains in order to recoup from an illness he’d contracted. Crossing the Gobi desert, meanwhile, proved long and, at times, arduous. “This desert is reported to be so long that it would take a year to go from end to end,” Marco later wrote. “And at the narrowest point it takes a month to cross it. It consists entirely of mountains and sands and valleys. There is nothing at all to eat.”

Finally, after four years of travel, the Polos reached China and Kublai Khan, who was staying at his summer palace known as Xanadu, a grand marble architectural wonder that dazzled young Marco.( Source : Wikipedia)


Source : Google photo of Dr.David Livingstone

4 : The last in this short list is Dr.Livingstone. He was a great explorer, doctor and missionary who explored unknown parts of Africa and was largely responsible for the awareness in England the evils of slavery that led to the parliament enacting laws to ban it forever. He gave his life in his quest to explore the parts of Africa that no one knew anything about in Europe at that time.

Explorations of Africa

In the official role of a “medical missionary,” he set forth to Africa, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa in March of 1841. A few years later, he married Mary Moffat; the couple would have several children.

Livingstone eventually made his way north and set out to trek across the Kalahari Desert. In 1849, he came upon Lake Ngami and, in 1851, the Zambezi River. Over the years, Livingstone continued his explorations, reaching the western coastal region of Luanda in 1853. In 1855, he came across another famous body of water, the Zambezi falls, called by native populations “Smoke That Thunders” and which Livingstone dubbed Victoria Falls, after Queen Victoria.

By 1856, Livingstone had gone across the continent from west to east, arriving at the coastal region of Quelimane in what is present-day Mozambique.

Celebrated in Europe

Upon his return to England, Livingstone received accolades and, in 1857, published Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. The following year, Livingstone was appointed by British authorities to lead an expedition that would navigate the Zambezi. The expedition did not fare well, with squabbling among the crew and the original boat having to be abandoned. Other bodies of water were discovered, though Livingstone’s wife, Mary, would perish from fever upon returning to Africa in 1862.

Livingstone returned to England again in 1864, speaking out against slavery, and the following year, published Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries. In this book, Livingstone also wrote about his use of quinine as a malarial remedy and theorized about the connection between malaria and mosquitoes.

Livingstone undertook another expedition to Africa, landing at Zanzibar in early 1866 and going on to find more bodies of water, with the hope of locating the source of the Nile River. He eventually ended up in the village of Nyangwe, where he witnessed a devastating massacre where Arabic slave traders killed hundreds of people.

With the explorer thought to be lost, a transatlantic venture was developed by the London Daily Telegraph and New York Herald, and journalist Henry Stanley was sent to Africa to find Livingstone. Stanley located the physician in Ujiji in late 1871, and upon seeing him, uttered the now-well-known words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

Livingstone chose to stay, and he and Stanley parted ways in 1872. Livingstone died from dysentery and malaria on May 1, 1873, at the age of 60, in Chief Chitambo’s Village, near Lake Bangweulu, North Rhodesia (now Zambia). His body was eventually transported to and buried at Westminster Abbey.( source : Wikipedia)

Africans wrapped his desiccated body in a sealed skin bag and carried him on their shoulders and walked hundreds of kilometers through wild and savage territories to reach the coast from where the body was shipped to England.

I hope you will enjoy reading this blog about some of the most intrepid travelers in history.


Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски


Culture shock


Source : Google photo

Synopsis: We often see this phenomenon called culture shock when people visit other countries where the culture, language, food, clothes and mannerisms are different from their own and have a hard time adjusting so get a shock. The blog deals with this subject and suggests how to overcome them.


I think there are two types of people in this world. The first type is the one that rarely travels outside its comfort zone and the second type that is more daring and accepts challenges and tries hard to overcome them by travelling around the world. I observe that the vast majority of the people belong to the first type and when travelling, they are subject to severe culture shock that this blog is about.

It is true that these days more and more people travel to other countries and even within their own countries due to the advent of budget airlines and cheaper package tours offered everywhere. The no frill airlines do a roaring business carrying massive number of people to all parts of the world at lower costs than the commercial airlines .It serves the people who are on a tight budget and want to visit a country in a package tour of a few days or of a short duration.

The package insulates the traveller from all the hassles like flying for the first time, finding a hotel room in a foreign country, visiting sites of interest, paying for fees and surcharges. It is all included in the package so the traveller feels comfortable in a group tour that includes people from his own country.

These package tour groups  can be seen anywhere these days that follow a tour guide who always has a bullhorn to guide his flock and speaks in the language of the group which is a great comfort to the traveller. The guide will show them where the McDonald’s is if the group is from America or a Japanese restaurant if the group is from Japan.

In short the package tours offer the traveller his own comfort zone abroad so that he does not experience culture shock that is common to individual traveller. Imagine that you find yourself in a foreign country where no one or very few understand your language be it your mother tongue or your body language, where people drive on the other side of the road, where people eat food that is very different from what you eat at home, where people dress differently due to the climate they live in and have different social manners .

It can all be very intimidating to a person who travels for the first time outside his country and experiences a host of things for the first time that he is not at all prepared to see or experience.

I can only chuckle at the discomfort of an Indian woman on Bondi beach in Sydney or Bois de Boulogne in Paris where female nudity is common. While this experience can be traumatic to some people who step out of their comfort zone for the first time as they travel more to different countries, the brave ones get inured to the culture shock gradually while some become great travellers and tremendously enjoy different culture, food and environment and mingle with the people easily.

Now a days the technology comes to the aid of anyone who has a touch screen cell phone that shows a GPS guided map of exactly where a person is and where he wants to go. It can also show hotels, motels, restaurants, hospitals and a wealth of other information  although sometime depending too much on a GPS guidance can land a person in a canal as a Singaporean once told me in Ho Chi Minh city with great hilarity although his wife was not amused.

I was told that there are now instant translation gadgets into which you speak and the translation in 140 languages comes out instantly in C3-PO type audio at the touch of a button although I would not trust such gadgets 100% yet. The languages can be much nuanced so a literal translation may land you in hot water if not a canal because that can be unpleasant.

Others depend on Fodor’s guide book that are quite comprehensive that include all the information anyone ever needs in a foreign country. They sell them at the sidewalk of Ho Chi Minh City at a knock off price of a few dollars and where women can be found any day carrying stack of Fodor’s 4 feet high in their arms.

I had great fun in Hong Kong one time when I found myself mimicking a chicken when no one understood that I wanted a plate of chicken and rice .It worked but in Kyoto it was a different story when I wanted a painted Japanese scroll but no one understood what a scroll was so I tried to make them understand using a roll of toilet paper. No one understood the analogy so more help was summoned to decipher what this weird foreigner wanted. Finally in defeat I made my escape.

So I come back to the issue of Culture shock. Today I want to write about it and examine why some people get it and others don’t.

The shock some people encounter in foreign countries comes from their new experience of seeing, feeling and knowing  how people can be very different  in different countries where the climate, food, manner of social behavior, dressing and everything else that define a people is so different from what they are used to back home.

Mostly it is the food that people crave in foreign countries so you will see Americans flocking to McDonalds or Indians looking for an Indian restaurant. Rare is a person who will munch on fried spiders in Siem Reap no matter how vociferous the Cambodians are in praising such “food “. Rare is the person who will take a sip of the Vietnamese wine where he can see a pickled cobra in the wine bottle.

I myself would not dare to eat cobra meat or dog meat that some restaurants in Bangkok offer but then I am not that adventurous when it comes to food although I have tried curried frog legs in Vietnam once or twice. There must be many poor frogs on crutches there that I feel sorry for in retrospect. I would not eat rat meat either that baffled some Cambodian farmers in South Vietnam who thought it was a treat.

So one man’s food is another man’s taboo. It can also extend to clothes. Imagine you are a Moslem woman visiting the Venice beach in Los Angeles where you will find yourself the most overdressed woman while the rest go about in thongs and mostly nothing else. I will not mention Bondi again because it may give you a heart attack.

This desire to bring your comfort zone with you anywhere is noticed by the business people who take full advantage of it and will create the home feeling in their hotels and food joints. There is a reason why all the McDonalds look-alike anywhere or the KFC outlets with Col. Sanders picture prominently displayed. There is a reason why all the Hiltons look alike anywhere. It is where the Americans feel at home and can order American food just like back home.

One fellow looked for red meat in the local market in the Philippines but no one understood him because what he wanted was mutton that they do not sell and rarely eat. He kept on saying that back home, it was available everywhere. Now try asking Americans if they eat mutton or if it is available in their local supermarket and they will tell you that they do not eat mutton. To them the meat means only beef and pork. Chicken is not meat but just chicken. They also do not eat lamb because it is not easily available while a New Zealander or Australian will say that it is the easiest thing to find and they know scores of ways to make delicious lamb chops or lamb dishes.

The culture shock some people feel when they travel to other countries comes from their inability to accept something that is new to them so they are naturally suspicious. When I offered some fried shrimp chips to my housemates in California who were all Americans, no one touched it because it was new to them.

It also comes from their inability to adjust to a very different culture they see for the first time and do not know to react. In Japan people are very clean and always remove their shoes before entering their house or anyone’s house but in the United States, people can jump on a bed fully dressed with their shoes on or put their feet on their desk while receiving people in their office.

People visiting India for the first time may be shocked to see cows wandering in the streets or people spitting and throwing garbage everywhere especially if you are from Singapore. The feral pigs scavenging the heaps of garbage, open sewer flowing onto the streets, beggars and people defecating openly by the railway lines can all be a traumatic experience for a first time visitor.

Very few people can look beyond the heaps of garbage and see the beauty of a country like India or any other country. That takes an open mind to absorb what is truly beautiful in any people in any country.

The culture shock also comes if the person has an exaggerated sense of the superiority of his own culture and country. This comes from a sense of great patriotism so it becomes their yardstick to measure others so they end up finding other cultures that do not measure up.

Then there are those who travel a lot and keep an open mind to everything they see and feel or taste. The extreme example is perhaps that of an American who had never eaten a crab so he chewed it shell and all and wondered why people in the Philippines eat it and like it. It is good to have an open mind about food but it does not hurt to observe how others eat it. If you just ask, people will happily show you the way. The American did not ask and did not observe so he had a bad experience that perhaps stayed with him.

Now I am not suggesting that you try anything and everything when it comes to food but surely you can find delicious food in any country if you just try, the rat, dogs and cobra wine excepted. The French eat a foul-smelling cheese they call camembert that is hard to swallow but they like it and will offer it to you. You do not have to eat it because there are hundreds of good cheese varieties in Europe.

The culture I am writing about comes as a package that includes food, dress, language, behavior, social manners and etiquettes, cultural trappings like festivals and many such things. It is the tremendous diversity from country to country that makes this world so beautiful.

Reading about other country and people is not the same as visiting a country and experiencing everything first hand but travelling can also be arduous and may include drinking water that may not be safe or eating food that gives you stomach trouble. One American visiting us here was shy to admit that he had stomach problem right after he arrived from Vietnam where he had eaten some salad so I took him to a doctor right away. It can happen to anyone. You just have to watch what you eat and specially where. The street food may be alluring but there may be a down side to it in some places.

There was a case of a fellow in Colombia or some Latin country where he was stung by a fly on his head. He did not think much of it and went home but later he felt severe pain in his head. The doctors found that the fly had deposited eggs this way and the hatching larvae under his skin were causing havoc. Luckily the doctors were able to get rid of all the larvae so the fellow survived.

There are such dangers that lurk in some places that people must be aware of and wear cap and shoes all the time. Walking barefoot on sand in some East African countries can get you in serious trouble where guinea worms are found.

When we were in Mali where Malaria is endemic, we had to screen our house and give our children Nivaquine as a prophylactic but we had no trouble with the fresh milk, butter and vegetable although Americans told us not to eat it. The fear based ignorance is common to many expatriates.

I think one way to overcome culture shock is to keep an open mind and leave behind your country and your language and try to experience a new culture by admitting that all cultures have something beautiful in them. I think all cultures are unique and have a great deal to offer to anyone who tries.

As the world grows smaller everyday through the connectivity , video chat and messaging services that are free and bring people closer, there are tremendous opportunities that have opened up to travel and see this beautiful world of ours.

Do you have what it takes to absorb it all and bring home new knowledge and experience and share them with others? It can go a long way if you accept that no one is superior to anyone and that all people have something unique to them that are worth knowing about. This diversity is what makes this planet so interesting.

The culture shock is an outdated concept people should try to overcome.


Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски


We all need friends

Synopsis: The basis of all true friendship is sharing, caring,understanding,tolerance of different views and friendship with no string attached. The blog throws some light on various aspects of friendship and explains why some friendship endure while others do not. When selfishness and religious as well as cultural bias enters the picture then people can not become friends easily.

We all need friends

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Source :Google photo

We all need friends

In this big world no matter where we live, we feel the need to talk to someone who shares the same passion and the same interest that may create the bond due to the shared experiences and tribulations. We all feel at one time or other that life is full of ups and downs but never static.

Some of us have good experiences and other may have bad experiences because we generally speaking have little control over such things and go through them as a part of the experience we gain in the process and hopefully learn a lesson or two so that it may help us make better decisions in the future.

The ability to learn from our past experiences good or bad may ultimately depend on us and how we define and handle the experiences to make ourselves better in the future but it is also a fact of life that some people never learn from their past mistakes and bad experiences and commit the same mistakes again and again to their own detriment. Just ask an inveterate gambler why he gambles and he will tell you that he is addicted to it and can’t do without gambling even if he knows that it is destroying his life and the lives of his loved ones.

Ask any alcoholic why he drinks and he will tell you that he can’t do without it even if he knows it is killing him. One fellow told me that only one of his lungs was working but he could not stop smoking so he died soon thereafter.

So we all need friends who can help us stay on the path of virtue and away from bad habits and bad experiences that are closely related to each other but how many of us are so lucky to find such friends?  The dark side of human nature drags some people down the path of self-destruction because of the allure of the vices and the company that promotes the vices so they keep their company to feel happy. This comes from the inherent human need to find a friend whose company gives them pleasure so they willingly seek out such “friends” who are really no friends at all because they drag you down the road of no return.

I knew a wonderful boy who was very smart and had a good job but was very unhappy in his life due to a very bad marriage so he sought the company of alcoholics who convinced him that the bottle was the way out even if temporarily. The bottle eventually killed him at an early age.

In the Philippines they are called the canto boys who always hang around the street corners and will invite you to drink with them and convince you to drink with them because it is not fun to drink alone. They are total failures in life and exert a very negative influence on a young person who feels lonely and joins them against the wishes of his parents or siblings and soon finds himself on a road to no return.

We see this phenomenon everywhere due to the loneliness young people feel because they have no friends in their school or their community so seek out those who introduce him or her to drugs, sex and alcohol or even a life of crime. This need to have someone he or she can call a friend is a basic human need because everyone feels this need at some point in his life.

Later this loneliness drives some people to join some religious groups or cults that may even have very destructive influences on them. The Charles Manson cult or the Jonestown cult in British Guyana in South America is perhaps an extreme case of such harmful association but they prey on the young and very vulnerable people who can be easily influenced by their promise of happiness.

I remember a period in the United States when young boys and girls joined the hippies and became a part of their group very willingly because of the allure of smoking pot and wild sex that was like an aphrodisiac to them. Jenny in the movie “Forrest Gump” was a typical girl who joined such group and died young due to her promiscuous life of drugs and alcohol. They set up hippie camps in the wilderness and lived there sharing everything including their bodies because they felt the need to have friends and were willing to pay the price such “friends” exacted.

It was a movement born out of the frustration of the Vietnam war where young people were dying needlessly and they felt helpless and impotent to do something about it. The material culture in which they grew up made them despise it so they threw away everything they considered decadent and lived a primitive life somewhere sharing whatever they had just so that they could feel their companionship that brought them temporary happiness .

The need for friendship was genuine although perhaps the method to gain friends was not ideal but we live in an imperfect world where many factors influence the young lives of boys and girls including the tremendous pressure to go to college, get an employment and marry. This pressure often makes the young people rebellious so they seek the company of like-minded people who drop out. I have seen how happy they become after a few puffs on their marijuana cigarette.

Many smoke a few joints at some time and grow out of it , finish their college education, get jobs and get married while there are those who never grow out of it because they prefer the hippie life and can’t go back to the former life even if they try.

David Carradine was a famous Hollywood actor but he took to drugs and alcohol that eventually destroyed him. If he could come back and talk, he would probably have said that he had no friends and was lonely in spite of his fame and money. There are many such people.

The question therefore arises why some people make friends easily while others fail to do so and are called loners all their lives. Why some people become introverts and other become extroverts who are popular in their school, their community or their offices.

This has something to do with the upbringings and the good or bad job parents do in raising their kids. I had a classmate who was a loner and was incapable of making friends with anyone because of his super strict father who raised him in his own image.

A child is innocent at first and makes friends if his parents and siblings provide a loving and sharing atmosphere at home where they teach him good values and empathy. If he or she comes from a strict household where parents are mean, selfish and fight over silly matters all the time, who live beyond their means and get into financial troubles, where domestic violence prevails over such matters and where they neglect to provide the right environment to grow then you can easily see its effect on the innocent child.

It is not unheard of that a very strict Bible thumping pastor’s daughter runs away from home and elopes with someone her parents will never approve of just because she feels suffocated living with her strict parents and seeks a way out. I have heard this from many young people that it is their right to make mistakes so no one can stop them.

Now the internet offers many sites where people seek friendship, date and some even find someone they marry. I am not writing about the mail order brides sites that are now an industry in their own right but those who only seek friendship to fill the void they feel in their life and use the net.

This has a downside to it so I may as well write about it. You have all heard that there are numerous websites that entice young women into prostitution through the net promising them boyfriends. There are spurious job advertisements that lure unsuspecting young women to prostitution in the Middle East and elsewhere and there are numerous sites that promote exciting love and sex life to vulnerable girls who feel lonely and join such groups only to find that they are forced to become sex slaves in the hands of jihadists who pass these slaves around among themselves.

So the need to have someone who can become a friend is universal. I have seen and felt that people will extend their hand in friendship even if they do not know you at all and smile in most countries. All one has to do is to smile and say hello. It is that simple.

Why then people are so afraid to smile and say hello? What makes people so reticent that they cannot take that first step to friendship? Why people are so frigid and afraid to make contact with anyone?

I think this has to do with the personality of an individual. This friendly personality has to be developed in a child at an early stage in his or her life so it boils down to the environment in which the child grows up. The parents can exert a great deal of influence and teach the child to be friendly and share what he has with anyone. That is the first step. A friendly person makes friends easily anywhere. No one likes a mean child who throws tantrums at the slightest provocation, who is aggressive and becomes a bully to other children. Such children grow up to be very mean and selfish people who then become toxic.

So the secret which is no secret at all is the idea of sharing that makes people gain friends. One has to learn to share everything (not like those hippies) that he or she values with others. It may be toys, food, trinkets, pennies from the piggy bank or time. It may be something simple like a fruit or candy or a comic book. It is the sharing that makes the bond from which a friendship can emerge that can last a lifetime.

I think a true friendship emerges when it is not tied to any religious dogma because such ties inevitably cause tension if the beliefs clash that can put a damper on any relationship. So leaving religion out of any friendship is perhaps a good way to start. There is another thing most people get very passionate about is the politics.

If you are going out on a date with someone and he or she blurts out that he or she is a Democrat or Republican then right away that becomes an issue and the budding friendship may wither on its vine. Two people can become friends if they leave the religion and politics out of their relationship. To make and maintain a healthy friendship one should not discuss three things I call cardinal sins among friends that are religion, sex and politics. So sex is the third topic on which no two people may agree. Because people have strong opinions about all three and may not accept your point of view on any of the three mentioned or all of them. This causes needless friction that is very unhealthy for any friendship.

Please read my earlier bog called “ What is friendship” where I have written about the basic framework needed to make friends so it is perhaps worth a look.

I can conclude here that although we all need friends, there is a right way and the wrong way to go about it. So I wish you readers the best of luck and may you all be blessed with lifelong friends who will uplift you and help you become a better person. May you also learn to know those who are not your friends but pretend to be one so that you can avoid them.


Note :  My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese  languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски